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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Winding Down October

Whew. Who would believe I let October 16 go by without posting my annual How I Met ThePrince blog?

Ah well. Just click back to any October 16 post in the previous 11 years and you can read it.

Usually I take this day off and we go out and celebrate - sometimes away from home, sometimes right here in our corner of heaven. This year was different - and fittingly so. The anniversary falls on my sister's birthday and this year it also fell on the night of the James River Art League's 50th anniversary party.  This organization was born in our living room when I was ... well ... 12! And Mama was its first president. In fact, in the booklet about the history of the organization was a photo of the first membership roster and I even recognized my old typewriter - the old Royal that Daddy gave me after he'd bought himself an electric typewriter. Oh how many homework assignments got banged out on that old machine. The font was as familiar as handwriting.

So this year, after an 11 hour day at work, I went back in for a few more hours in the morning and then we drove off to the city to attend the party. It was a lovely event.  There was even someone who remembered those early days and could chat with me about Mama. We'd shared some Mama stories with the speakers and they then shared them with the group. It was a sweet evening, the first time I've ever shared it with my sister and how fitting to be doing it while talking about art and Mama and days of long ago.

I even won a door prize - and so did ThePrince!

We followed that happy celebratory evening with a weekend of beyond incredible fun with Cousins T&C. Friday we drove back to Richmond to spend the night with the cousins and Saturday we piled into the big car and drove up to Farmville to ride the High Bridge Trail State Park again. I'd had the foresight to reserve 4 bikes the week before - after all - state park, glorious October weekend, perfect weather, yeah ... I didn't think we stood a chance as walk-in customers. There were only 4 bikes left at 10:30 and those had our names on them.

Pretty festive sounding October, huh? Well you ain't heard nothin' yet. With but a single weekend day to recoup after biking 22 miles and dining like it was our last meal at La Cucina (to die for food with generous - no, heaping - helpings) I jumped into this past week with a vengeance. There was a speaking engagement at a sort of near-by library, followed by a catch-up visit with dear friends and an 11 o'clock return. Then there was a 7 a.m. breakfast meeting to attend. This was followed by 3 days of conventioneering in my favorite tourist town, Williamsburg. Alas. I never did get to stroll down the colonial part - which is my favorite - but I did get to wear a Martha Washington wig and emcee a quiz show. (somebody took a photo but nobody's posted it anywhere) And there was shopping therapy on the way home - including yarn - and a 40" Sock Rocket circular needle. I've been longing to try them and now I can, just in time for Christmas Sock Knitting!

So that is why TheQueen has been so quiet. At least, that's the story and I'm stickin' to it. Today there is more travel to a wedding of a beautiful girl cousin to the sweetest guy, put on by truly beloved family. The weather dot com guys promise us mild weather without any wind - after several blue but blustery days. We'll hold them to that one. And I'll be back soon ... maybe even tomorrow .... with More Photos.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It Gets Better

I heart Tim Gunn and I seriously heart the message of the It Gets Better Campaign. In fact - the message need not only be applied to sexual orientation. It's a message of hope for all the world in all its troubles - packed with the power of acknowledgement, patience, bravery and perseverance.

For TheQueen, for this past month, it is one of the lifelines I've clung to - that certain and sure knowledge that no matter how black the time feels, "It Gets Better". And it has.  Yesterday I heard Mama call down from heaven and say "Alright now. You've cried enough."

This is not the first time she's said that to me. I am reminded of a black bleak evil time in 1994 when I was summarily fired by Time. No recourse. No unemployment. No 2 weeks severance. My son grew up and went off to college. How I hated that. How angry I was and how sad. Being LD's mom was without a doubt the happiest must fun super rewarding joy filled creative love infested job in the whole wide world.

You say I'm still his mom? Well, of course I am. But I'm talking about the 'you are responsible for a growing-up child' part of being a mom and my god that was fun. But when it was over - it was truly over. I'd finished my part in his development and he was off to pick up all those responsibility threads himself. I did have the good grace to tell him to Pay No Attention To The Nutcase Behind The Curtain. I didn't want to ruin his fun - I just hated it that my routine, my duties, my world was changing.

The day he left for college I  sat at the bottom of the staircase and wept the copious sobs of the inconsolable. For hours. With dogs licking my tears away only to prompt a fresh wave of them. After a while the telephone rang and when I picked it up it was Mama. Her first words were "Alright now. You've cried long enough."

Note - she did not say I wouldn't cry more. She just knew it was time for me to give over to the rest of my life. It took me 2 years to do that and in that time the most perfect Big Darling in the world did not divorce me. He is a saint. I would have divorced myself if I could have. She also didn't say "It gets better" which would have been trite and cruel at that moment, coming from that Important Person. But she could have. I believe that if Tim Gunn had been standing by me he could have said it and it would have comforted me.

But she did say "Enough". That was the message I needed to hear from her then - and yesterday, a lightness of being filled my body sometime around 3:30 or 4 o'clock and I heard her say those inimitable words. And on light feet, with a dancing heart, I finished out a monumentally difficult work week with a perfect score of problem solving and went home to a loving BD, some great cheese and a really good bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.

So trust me. Or at least, trust Tim Gunn. It Gets Better.